Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Norval Morrisseau's 'Creation' Paintings

The overt subject matter of Norval Morrisseau's painting, The Sacred Bear Giving Children And Animals A Ride (1989) is the theme of creation. Species pairing brings forth new life. Just as the third whole circle comes from the two divided circles, the twin bears and the twin children reinforce the idea that from two comes three—a new life. The bear represents the earth. The shape of its back echoes the curvature of the earth's surface. Its four paws are firmly planted on the ground, rooted in the land in order to convey Morrisseau's life-affirming message that "We are all one". Morrisseau further ties the elements of his composition together with one continual line of communication to signify that all creatures on the earth are interconnected. The butterfly depicts childlike simplicity, whimsy and the natural state of happiness. The second half of the painting's title, written on the back in black permanent marker (by the artist's hand), suggests Morrisseau's personal contentment that he found in later life: In The Dreamworld of Children And Pets.
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Acrylic on canvas
40x48inches, 101.6x121.92cm
Reproduced: "Norval Morrisseau 2010 Retrospective" pg 18 (Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Oct 2010) Exhibited: "The Shaman's Return" Mar 31 - Apr 28, 1990 Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto. Provenance: Private collection, Ontario; Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto; Acquired from the artist.
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